This is What Happened When I Tried a DIY Nail Polish Tutorial

I loooove me a good DIY project.

But, if you've ever seen those hilarious posts about Pinterest Fails, then you have a good idea of how my projects usually turn out.

Yeah, okay, I'm not the most accomplished DIYer, but that doesn't stop me from having a ball with each and every bedroom decor or baked good I attempt. The truth is, for me, a fun DIY project is all about the journey rather than the destination.

This brings me to what happened when I tried a DIY nail polish tutorial at home. After some very light Googling, I stumbled upon a video tutorial on YouTube made by a sweet and savvy looking vlogger named Cloe. At this point, I recommend you all watch the short tutorial to get an idea of my process.

All I needed to purchase for this project was a couple jars of clear topcoat to use as the base of my new polish. According to the tutorial, you can create your own fabulous colors with nothing more than an overcoat and eye shadow. This was the moment that sold me. I have a ton of old, expired eye shadow that I never wear. Instead of just tossing these unfortunate palettes out, I decided to use some of the more daring colors for my nail polish.

DIY nail polish supplies

I chose a deep purple and a shimmery gold from two different palettes. Purple is my favorite color but my complexion pairs better with neutral tones like browns and grays, so I hardly wear, let alone buy, purple anything. This was the perfect opportunity to try out a bold nail color without spending $10 on a decent polish.

Despite my excitement to try the purple polish, I started with the gold glitter because it seemed easier and more promising. Spoiler alert: I was devastatingly wrong. The eye shadow I used had more of a gel-like texture that did not want to mix with the clear topcoat. I stirred for probably five straight minutes and finally got a smooth, clump-less polish, only to realize that after letting it settle for about 30 seconds it would turn back into a globby mess. Oh well, it was my first try. I poured the entire mixture back into the original topcoat jar and included a couple small silver beads to help shake up the polish.

Clumpy gold nail polish not looking so good.

I rarely buy glittery nail polish, despite loving it, for one reason: There's never enough sparkle! No matter how dense the glitter may look, it always comes out sparse on your finger nails. I always thought the polish companies were being cheap, but now I know that you need to include about a pound of glitter in order for your nails to sparkle like a disco ball.

Next I moved onto the purple, for which, at this point, I had lower hopes. But to my surprise, it was working much better than the gold glitter. As I stirred the eye shadow into the topcoat everything blended just like Cloe's had in her tutorial. Success! Until I tried it on.

Purple nail polish in the process.

After one coat of the purple my friend told me I looked diseased. It brushed on very pale with a darker purple pooling at my cuticles. But I didn't give up hope.

Purple nail polish on nails after one coat

After three coats my purple nails actually looked like the real deal. Of course, purple still isn't a color I would choose if I got a manicure or dropped dollars on a good quality polish, but it's exactly the color I would choose when spending $2 and an afternoon of fun on a great at-home DIY project.

Final product purple polish on nails after three coats

After three coats of the gold glitter I still had little more than a light glimmer on my nails but decided that I basically enhanced my topcoat. I probably won't use it on its own, but it'll be useful the next time I want to add a touch of sparkle to my glitter-less polish in the future.

Final product gold glitter polish on nails

Cloe had the cutest idea of naming her polishes after she finished creating them. I don't have a label-maker at home but I still decided to give my polishes fun names just to top off the DIY experience. I named my gold glitter, New Year's Eve. I landed on this name for two reasons: One, because shimmery gold is a staple color of NYE but more so because of the holiday's high expectations that usually fall flat in reality—just like the expectations I had for the polish. I called the purple polish Cauldron, because of the witchy way I felt when wearing it, and tbh, stirring it up sort of felt like concocting a potion.

Sparkly gold nail polish final product.

Purple nail polish final product.

All in all, I totally recommend this tutorial to anyone looking to have fun on a dime. It's the perfect way to use up old eye shadow or create your own unique colors by mixing tones and textures. I suggest you follow all of Cloe's tips closely because the mishaps I made could have been avoided if I had used the mineral-based eye shadow she suggested.


Don't let your DIY adventures end here. Check out THESE quick and easy sugar scrubs that will keep your lips soft until spring.